141 Re-centering/Glide

141 Re-centering and building glide

(perhaps this should go before bumps?)

Assuming that an effective carved turn is one goal of better snowboarding, it is important to address movements which will interfere with a carved turn.  Initially a lot of energy and time is devoted to tipping the board, and balancing on it while the side-cut does most of the work.  To avoid fatigue, and to simplify matters, it is desirable to stand more or less equally on both feet, without creating unwanted turning characteristics.  In other words, if the bindings are mounted too far towards the tip or tail of the board, standing evenly weighted will create problems.  Similarly, it is desirable to tip the board with both feet at the same time.

Based on rider weight, side-cut, and relative stiffness, each board will have a turn radius that feels most natural.  To make a turn that is longer or shorter will require more input from the rider, and usually some sense of timing for those inputs.  If a rider can balance on the side-cut and make a simple carved turn, vary the turn radius to challenge the skill blend.  If, when the size of the turn is altered, the rider slows appreciably, the skill blend is probably not appropriate.

More often than not, it is the pressuring skills that need refinement.  If the rider moves to the front foot too quickly, a skid will result, and momentum will be dissipated through friction.   (It is more desirable to dissipate momentum by finishing each turn rather than skidding the turn).  Chances are, if the pressure from foot to foot is evened out, the skid will be reduced, momentum will be conserved, and the rate of travel will be consistent.  On a toe-side turn, looking at one’s feet is often enough to create skid, as the shoulders follow the head, and that puts too much weight on the front foot.

Flat spins are a good exercise to refine the sense of weight distribution and thus pressure management.  If a rider does not move from one foot to the other assertively, the spin will only come half way around.  The flatter the terrain, and the slower the spin, the better the skill application.

As far as edging skills are concerned, if the rider tips the board late, which is to say too close to the fall line, there will be too much momentum in the system for a clean edge engagement and direction change.  Depending pressure distribution from foot to foot, the board will either skid or chatter.  (or possibly a combination, skid first, then chatter).  In this instance it is necessary to affect the timing of the rise and fall of the board relative to the fall-line.  Reiterate the notion that the angle of the board to the snow should rise and fall gradually, rather than rising to a maximum at the very end of the turn.